The widespread acceptance of cryptocurrency as a standard means of exchange is increasing daily. This was confirmed when Coinbase and Blockchain.com, two renowned cryptocurrency exchanges, reported about two mln and 1.8 mln new users respectively within 60 days. While cryptocurrency enthusiasts might rejoice at this revelation, the question of “how to keep your cryptocurrency safe” is fast becoming a cause for concern.
The extent of cryptocurrency security threats
According to several reports on cryptocurrency security, about nine mln dollars is lost daily to scams. A more recent report showed that a 12.75 mln dollars investment in cryptocurrency by Australians was a scam. These developments put the magnitude of fraud to be about four times worse than it was last year and it shows no sign of slowing down, hence, the need for an effective cryptocurrency security guide.
Financial analysts are propounding theories, albeit unfounded, of how cryptocurrency would not weather the storm. However, techniques abound on how to keep your cryptocurrency safe. This article explains the various cryptocurrency security tips which will ensure your digital assets are safe.
What are the popular cryptocurrency security risks?
Many new investors might find some of these terms puzzling, however, in a short while, it’ll become mundane lingo. What are the security risks you might face?
Phone-porting attack- This is a phenomenon whereby criminals join social media discussions for crypto-users and then monitor the emails and phone numbers being revealed. When they get this information, they use social engineering techniques to gain ownership of the phone number or email address, log in to the user’s account or wallet and then empty it.
Phishing attacks- They should be easy to detect for a trained eye and it isn’t really a preferred method of cryptocurrency theft, however, when it comes to cryptocurrency security tips, every threat is considered important. Here, the perpetrators pose as reputable financial companies to trick unsuspecting users into giving up their digital wallet login details.
Ponzi schemes- Human wants are inherently insatiable and these criminals leverage this knowledge to trick users into losing huge sums of money. Most times, the victims of Ponzi schemes disregard every cryptocurrency security guide and choose to fall prey.
Amidst these stern-looking and dangerous-sounding cryptocurrency security threats, how to keep your cryptocurrency safe becomes a prevalent issue which can only be resolved using a combination of skill, fastidiousness and experience.
10 Cryptocurrency security tips
Cryptocurrencies are underpinned by decentralized technology. This conveniently eliminates the unscrupulous middle-men, banks, or any form of centralized agency which can easily be attacked. However, the bulk of securing your digital assets rests on your shoulder.
Here are 10 cryptocurrency tips you should abide by if you don’t want to be a victim.
Backups are important- Having a backup is the ultimate way of saying “I know that anything can happen, I won’t allow that cause me loss.” The pain you feel when you work on a project and then your laptop gets stolen before you can submit it is incomparable to what you experience when you lose $5,000 in cryptocurrency. The ultimate cryptocurrency security guide is to have a backup, simple.
Encrypt your sensitive data- Linux users, perhaps, already know this tip and they have been enjoying it or years now. On Windows and Mac though, it’s not so easy to implement. Tools like VeraCrypt and FileCrypt aid in encrypting your drives and wallet, saving you from any loss.
Use a core wallet- These are designed or cold storage and are touted for their stability and flexibility. Although for daily transactions, they are not preferred due to the slow, clunky and rigorous mode of operation. This, in itself, is an advantage as it will make theft incredibly hard to perpetrate.
Only use secure networks- These crypto-robbers are smart. Their intelligence, coupled with high-speed computing facilities renders even those who come up with cryptocurrency security tips helpless. You are making their job easier for them when you use multiple networks for surfing or public Wi-Fi.
Go the extra mile with passwords- “Password1234” and “myPassword” used to be really cool when signing up on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. However, when your money is involved, you need to ditch creativity and be more security conscious.
Abstain from mobile wallets- This is one of the cryptocurrency security tips that people have to learn on their own- after unfortunate experiences. It is incredibly easy to lose access to your phone, get ambushed or even get hacked and you’ll be forced to relinquish the little funds you have in the wallet.
Third-party cryptocurrency security is recommended- There are few companies out there leading the campaign of cryptocurrency security and they provide hardware wallets for you to store your assets. They are also equipped with multilayer security and double authentication systems.
This begs the question of how security is guaranteed using anything third-party. You also need to play it safe, watch out for phony companies who are out to steal your information.
You need strong protective doors, not breakable windows- Pardon the pun but this is an important cryptocurrency security guide to adhere to. Windows offers beautiful GUIs, a simple installation process, and ubiquity. However, vulnerability is just too great to ignore. For people who have significant investments in digital assets, their cryptocurrency security tip will be to install Linux.
Be discreet with your personal information- Why should you go about broadcasting the amount you have in your wallet or other sensitive details about your account? Why?
As much as you can, do not divulge any piece of information which can be used to access your personal information- pins, phone numbers, email addresses, passwords, etc. Even if the hackers are going to attempt phishing, make their job extremely hard to execute.
Avoid suspicious transactions - Ponzi schemes, ransomware and other security threats are not things to joke about. If you do not have a good feeling about that transaction, do not be afraid to pull the plug. The worst that can happen is that you miss out on the “juicy offer” being advertised, at least you have your hard-earned cryptocurrency safe.
The greater the amount of cryptocurrency in your account, the more serious it’s to take security. Usually, exchanges are trying to protect their users as much as possible. For example, Binance asks you to upload a keystone file to enter a wallet, enter a mnemonic phrase, and go through two-factor authentication. This is a serious level of protection, which, alas, is useless when exchange gets hacked. But for your part, you must do everything possible to secure crypto!
The ultimate cryptocurrency security guide
Even though you had fun reading this article, the most important step you can take to keep your coins safe is to follow these tips religiously. It is very easy to forget some of these and the consequence is disastrous. When you make up your mind to follow these suggestions, you can relax, knowing fully well that you’re immune to their ploys.